This Competition Requires Commitment

While the emerging great power competition between the United States and China in the Pacific is not one defined exclusively by military power, the United States should avoid any move to retrench its traditional forward posture in the region, said panelists Wednesday at an American Enterprise Institute-sponsored discussion in Washington, D.C. “Those who rule China now have made their rule synonymous with a new ‘Sino sphere’,” said AEI’s Dan Blumenthal, director of Asian studies. This is characterized not only by economic growth, but a nationalistic drive that requires a great deal of military power to project influence. The United States will not cede Asia to China anytime soon, but it will have to aid its traditional allies more so in the past and rethink old Cold War bilateral paradigms, said Blumenthal. “In this competition, trade and interdependence will coexist with security and military cooperation,” he added, noting that what it needed is more clarity in interests and alliances as well as leveraging strengths. The United States can play a large role in weaving together the intelligence-surveillance-reconnaissance capabilities among the regional allies, so that they can have a common picture of what military activities are occurring in the region. (AEI webpage of event, including link to event video)